Graduated Dues, Petition Candidates
Major Items on Delegates’ Agenda
The upcoming House of Delegates meeting, which will take place April 1 at the AAPG Annual Convention in Long Beach, Calif., promises to be a very important meeting for AAPG.
Agenda items include:
- The Rules and Procedures Committee will propose certain changes to reconcile rules and procedures with the AAPG Constitution and Bylaws. These will relate to Nominations, Honors and Awards and Election Campaign Policy.
- For the first time in several years, the Resolution Committee has been successfully working with several societies from around the world to prepare them for becoming Affiliate Societies of AAPG, and at least two will be brought forward.
- However, the greatest interest of this meeting will come from the considerations of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee. Their proposals are all related to Bylaws changes and do not change the AAPG Constitution, hence they will require the approval of a two-thirds majority of those attending the Long Beach convention.
The first of these will be reconciling the Bylaws for the establishment of a “vice president, regions” office, as initiated by the 2006 HoD meeting and subsequent vote of the membership.
Next we will deal with “petition candidates.”
Several recommendations were considered relative to this matter, but only one series of motions will be brought forth, which will completely bring petition candidates under the same election rules as candidates nominated to the Executive Committee for approval.
In addition, no member of the Advisory Council or Executive Committee, who is finishing their term of office and who was involved in the nomination of major Association officers, can become a petition candidate for the election cycle occurring immediately thereafter.
The most significant set of motions to be advanced to the House relates to the establishment of a “graduated dues” structure for membership applicants and existing members.
AAPG has experienced a recent net increase in membership as the partial result of concentrated efforts in both the Sections and Regions. However, the general trend is a year-by-year reduction in membership, and AAPG must reverse this trend if we are to maintain the position of the pre-eminent geoscience association.
A Graduated Dues Committee was formed to evaluate the options. It compared the significant growth of such associations as SPE and others, plus the manner in which they accomplished their orderly growth. This effort moved from that committee to the Advisory Council, to the staff for documentation, to the Executive Committee and finally to the House of Delegates.
It was determined that an “ability to pay” model be proposed. This would be balanced by a reduction in services if less than full dues were being paid.
There would be a three-tier system established based on gross personal income. The present dues for members and Associate members with more than four years of membership are $80 (U.S.) per year.
The concept is not geographically bound and could benefit a part-time professor, a retired individual or one who has lost his job or an international member or applicant who works for a low paying national oil company. All members at some point could benefit.
The brackets would have dues established as $80 for gross personal income greater than $50,000; $40 for $50,000 down to $25,000; and $20 for less than $25,000.
This would be accompanied by a reduction in services for less than full dues. Full dues could receive hard copies of both the EXPLORER and BULLETIN; second tier would receive a hard copy of the EXPLORER plus a digital copy of the BULLETIN; and third tier would have digital only.
Any member who falls in tier two or three can elect to pay full dues and enjoy hard copies.
Three points, among others, have been raised.
Why do we not make everything digital?
Many AAPG members want a hard copy, and if we made the EXPLORER digital we would lose a significant portion of our budget via loss in advertising.
Dues in the 2005-06 audit accounted for 13 percent of AAPG revenue, and when investment gains were considered, it was 11 percent. The worst-case scenario would be a short-term loss of 20 percent in dues, but savings of not printing the material and mailing are not considered.
If that worst case was true, our AAPG revenue would be reduced by 2.6 percent, and this should be further offset by anticipated increased membership.
Finally, can we trust our members to place themselves in the proper tier, based on gross personal income?
I believe we can trust the vast majority of them.
AAPG needs to establish an orderly growth of membership, who desires to make a contribution. I sincerely ask your support for the graduated dues structure course of action.